SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A former neighbor of George Zimmerman testified Wednesday that she heard a boy’s cry for help shortly before hearing the firing of a gun.
But Jayne Surdyka also testified on the third day of testimony in Zimmerman’s murder trial that she heard multiple gunshots, “pop, pop, pop.” Only one shot was fired in the fatal encounter between Zimmerman and 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
“I truly believe the second yell for help was a yelp,” said Surdyka, who later dabbed away tears as prosecutors played her 911 call. “It was excruciating. I really felt it was a boy’s voice.”
Surdyka also told the court that before the shooting, she heard an aggressive voice and a softer voice exchanging words for several minutes.
Other neighbors also have described hearing cries for help which were captured on their calls to 911. Martin’s parents have said they were those of their son, while Zimmerman’s father has said he believes the cries belong to his son. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys believe they could show whether Zimmerman or Martin was the aggressor in the encounter at the Retreat at Twin Lakes townhome complex on Feb. 26, 2012. Defense attorneys successfully argued against allowing prosecution experts who claimed the cries belonged to Martin.
Also Wednesday, Judge Debra Nelson ruled that she would allow at trial five police dispatch calls Zimmerman made in the months prior to his encounter with Martin.
Prosecutors want to use the calls to bolster their argument that Zimmerman was increasingly frustrated with repeated burglaries and had reached a breaking point the night he shot the unarmed teenager. Prosecutors played the calls for the judge Tuesday with the jurors out of the courtroom.
The recordings show Zimmerman’s “ill will,” prosecutor Richard Mantei said.